With the Harvey Weinstein case coming to a close, where do we stand with the #MeToo Movement?
In the last month, Harvey Weinstein started as an alleged rapist and now is a convicted rapist. More than 90 women have come forward to share their story about what they endured by Weinstein. This also really kicked off the #MeToo Movement. At the time, many individuals began sharing the hashtag of #MeToo to signify that they too have experienced some form of violence, or abuse.
The numbers were extremely high and it really brought to the forefront of how tremendous the problem truly is.
At the same time, we had individuals coming forward about Weinstein. This started the process of the Weinstein Case. The verdict was that he was found guilty of two felony sex crimes. This truly was a victory for survivors as this case has been kept quiet and under wraps for a very long time.
But where does this leave the #MeToo Movement? When high profile cases come about, and a verdict is reached, even a victory verdict for survivors, most times it ends up at top of mind for a short period and then individuals begin to stick their head in the sand again.
The #MeToo Movement was started by Tarana Burke, and she did not start it because of Weinstein.
The biggest cultural shift is going to be, what do we do when we witness violence, what is our response? Do we just stick our head in the sand again and act like it never happened, or are we going to speak up? This is how we know a real change is on the horizon. We have been making small steps and the Weinstein case was definitely a tipping point to show that we are in a new era, but now we have to continue that momentum and stand up and speak out for those that cannot.
As a rape survivor myself, this can be a very exciting time for us, but also very disheartening as I continue to pray and hope that change will continue. But as mentioned previously, we need to continue to discuss this topic, and we need to speak up and out. Not just those have experienced the trauma of sexual violence or domestic violence or harassment, but those that want to help be a voice for others.